If fibroids are located close to uterus’ lining, they can cause long and heavy periods, quite painful periods, sometimes delayed periods or spotting between menses. However, everyone’s symptoms and their intensity may vary.
Need to double up on pads or use a cup to control your menstrual flow? Do you have a menstrual flow with blood clots that are visible? Have a heavy menstrual flow that keeps you from doing the things you always do? Do you suffer from constant pain in the lower part of the stomach during your period or between periods? These may be uterine fibroids’ symptoms.
Uterine fibroids can cause lower back pain and bleeding between periods. They can also cause pain in the lower abdomen, unusual vaginal discharge, and pain during sex.
There are multiple areas of the uterus where fibroids can grow. Intermural fibroids are located in the wall of the uterus, submucosal fibroids are located in the inside lining of the uterus, and subserosal fibroids are located in the outside lining of the uterus. Some fibroids can cause back pain.
Some women diagnosed with uterine fibroids have pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. Other patients experience pressure on the bladder, frequent urination during periods and between periods, and frequent urination at night. Fibroids and frequent urination are frequent companions. It happens because uterine fibroids can press on the bladder that results in almost constant need to look for a bathroom, although the bladder is not even close to being full. For the same reason, women with uterine fibroids suffer from frequent urination at night, sometimes waking up multiple times each night.
If you have pain below your belly button and above your legs, it counts as pelvic pain. It can be caused by a lot of things. It may be harmless evidence of your fertility, a simple digestive disorder, or a red flag that you may have fibroids, endometriosis or another medical condition.
How might uterine fibroids affect a woman’s sex life? Uterine fibroids can make sex, especially vaginal sex, very painful. Women whose fibroids are growing in the upper portion of the uterus are more likely to have dyspareunia. There are several things you can do to help pain during penetration, but the true reason of dyspareunia must be addressed to completely get rid of pain during sex.
Large fibroids can cause symptoms such as heavy bleeding, the need to urinate frequently, constipation, bloating, and pain. Constipation and fibroids are frequent companions.
Fibroids cause constipation directly and indirectly. The uterus lies directly in front of the distal end of the colon (i.e. rectosigmoid region). Fibroids that develop in the back of the uterus can press on the colon from the outside, and in some cases, cause significant constipation. Women that have fibroids that cause heavy menstrual bleeding can become anemic, which may require them to take iron supplements. These supplements often cause constipation, too.
If a fibroid is located on the back of the uterus, it is very close to the spinal column. If it becomes large enough it can press on or pinch the nerves in that area resulting in lower back pain. It can also cause sciatica as the fibroid presses against the sciatic nerve and sends pain down the back of the legs.
Pregnancy isn’t the only potential reason for an enlarged uterus. Two of the most common causes of an enlarged uterus are uterine fibroids and adenomyosis. Uterine fibroids are very common tumors affecting as many as 8 in 10 women by the age of 50 (especially African American women). Adenomyosis occurs when the tissue that normally lines the uterus (endometrial tissue) thickens.
Fibroids can affect your fertility. Fibroids that change the shape of your cervix can affect the number of sperm able to enter the uterus. Fibroids that weaken the lining of the uterine cavity or decrease the blood supply to a growing embryo can cause a miscarriage. Fertility can also be affected by scars from a myomectomy (fibroid surgery).
Heavy blood loss due to fibroids can cause anemia. Anemia can lead to shortness of breath, fatigue, and serious health problems. Anemia can be treated by addressing the reason causing the condition. If anemia is caused by uterine fibroids, they need to be treated.